Game Bird Propagation License


A Game Bird Propagation license authorizes the purchase, possession, propagation, sale, transportation and release of propagated upland game birds (except wild turkeys), migratory game birds and their eggs.  A Game Bird Propagation license is also needed to train dogs with live, pen-raised upland game birds and migratory birds.

License Restrictions, Rules and Conditions

A Game Bird Propagation License does not authorize the purchase, possession, propagation, sale transportation, or release of wild turkeys.

The sale of dead pen-raised quail for food is governed by the regulations of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The possession, sale, and transfer of migratory game birds are subject to additional requirements contained in Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

All mallard ducks possessed in captivity, without a permit, as well as mallard ducks hatched, reared, and retained in captivity thereafter shall be physically marked prior to 6 weeks of age using at least one of the following methods: removal of the hind toe from the right foot; pinioning of a wing provided that this method removes the metacarpal bones of one wing or a prion of the metacarpal bones, which renders the bird permanently incapable of flight; banding of one metatarsus with a seamless metal band; and/or tattooing a readily discernible number or letter or combination thereof on the web of one foot.

Hunters may train dogs using shotguns with #4 size shot or smaller during the closed season using domestically raised waterfowl and domestically raised game birds. Only nontoxic shots shall be used when training dogs with domestically raised waterfowl. All domestically raised waterfowl will be individually tagged on one leg with a seamless band stamped with the propagation license number of the facility to which the domestically raised waterfowl originated. All other domestically raised game birds will be individually tagged on one leg with a band indicating the propagation license number of the facility which the domestically raised game bird originated.

A Game Bird Propagation License must first be obtained before applying for a permit to import waterfowl into North Carolina. An application for an Importation Permit can be found here (Importation Permit Application).

Waterfowl imported into North Carolina must be received from facilities or individuals who are certified under the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) as pullorum-typhoid and avian influenza negative.  If the source birds are not part of NPIP, they must be tested pullorum-typhoid and avian influenza negative by NPIP standards within 30 days prior to entry into North Carolina. Health certificates for imported waterfowl shall be available for inspection by authorized NCWRC personnel upon request.

Licenses are issued to a single individual, at least 18 years of age or older.

This is an annual license that expires on December 31 of each year.

Download the current Game Bird Propagation License Rules: 

How to Obtain a License


Complete an online application at Go Outdoors North Carolina. This license has a $10 license fee plus a $5.00 transaction fee payable by a Visa or MasterCard.

All license fees are non-refundable.



Contact Information


Address:   North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission 
Customer Service Section
1707 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1700
 Phone: 833-950-0575
 Fax: 919-707-0292